The Gate keepers

Cover of The Gate keepers

The Beginning Of The end.

P.O.V: Elizabeth Harmon.

"Happy Birthday!" Amelia, my best friend, squealed beside me as I walked through the school doors with her right beside me. Amelia had light blond hair and blue eyes with tan skin that pretty much everyone in Florida has, myself included.

"Oh, shut up," I mutter, but I was smiling. "Everybody has a birthday, and when yours comes around, I'm going to embarrass the shit out of you!" I glared at her playfully.

"Yeah, sure you will," She rolled her eyes, not believing I would do anything of the such- and she's probably right. "Besides, it's your seventeenth birthday, we got to do something fun to celebrate tonight."

But any talk of celebration died out as we walked down the stairs to the cafeteria and were staring at the large TV mounted on the wall.

"Another attack was made in Washington D.C late last night, but authorities aren't sure who made the attack." The lady on the news said, and pointed to a live video of a tall building that looked as if not only fire, but time have worn it down. There were similar buildings like it burning, but the first one had no match to it's flames as they just seemed to rise higher even though the firefighters were trying their hardest to battle the impossible blaze.

"Police found around two hundred bodies in variant ages in the buildings and on the surrounding street and are warning the public to be on guard and report suspicious activity to your local authorities immediately."

Though that attack happened several states away, I can understand why they felt the need to warn everybody. Attacks like this have been happening all around the country, in other countries even, and it causes the people to be terrified out of their wits because they know it can happen to them. There had been several buildings set on fire, some even exploded, in the past few months. One had been an old mutant prison in Tennessee. An abandoned high school in Michigan. Old buildings left to rot that had been exploded that held hundreds of people as young as toddlers both human and mutant. Oh, sorry, did I lose you? I'll try to keep it simple for you: my name is Elizabeth Harmon and I'm a mutant.

By a statistical view, a little over a quarter of the world is mutant. My entire family is. My dad can control emotions, make a room of angry people calm, or produce fear strong enough to kill. My brother, Brannon, is a Telepath. He can read somebody's mind with a single look, one thing he can do but not many other Telepaths can, is to completely shut down someone's mind. Then there's me. I have telekinesis, meaning I can control solid objects to my will. But I can only control solids, not liquids. Anytime I try the liquid, usually water, just goes haywire and splashes everything in a five-mile radius- which, by the way, isn't fun when you're the one that has to clean it up. My mom could control light, make it so dark you'd think you'd never see the sun again, or make it bright enough to blind someone. I look a lot like my mom. I have her long curly brown hair and fast reflexes. My brother takes more after my dad, inheriting his height and short blond hair, but Brannon has a clumsiness all his own. We both have dad's eyes, a dark brown. A contrast to my mother's bright gold eyes. But I'll never see my mother's bright happy eyes again. It's been almost three years ago now that we all got in that car accident. Brannon my mother and I had been in our bright red Cadillac, when out of nowhere, a black van came speeding toward us and crashed into us so hard that both cars ended up in the ditch. Afterwards, when me and my brother woke back up in the hospital beds, we were informed that our mother had died of fatal head trauma and that the other driver had ran. Even three years later, they still haven't a clue who had been driving the black van. For weeks, me and Brannon wouldn't eat, barely moved, never responded to anyone.

But we pulled ourselves together, we went to school, concentrated on our grades, dad kept the food on the table. That was the hardest year of my life. The year we had to move to Florida because dad got a job offering- also I believe he wanted to be closer to mom's hometown, where we had the funeral. But it was also the year Brannon met Keira, his girlfriend. Brannon and Keira both started fighting with the Gate Keepers that year. Which gets me to the worst part of my world.

My dad told me and my brother about his childhood, a time when humans were oblivious to the mutant race. But humans aren't entirely arrogant. Around twenty, maybe thirty years ago humans found out, and everything was spilled. My parents said it was absolute chaos: humans and mutants both hiding in their houses, terrified of each other. But things eventually calmed down enough for each side to reason with logic. The world eventually settled back into calmness.

Until the war. There are two people that started the war- Hamado and Da Kenshi. I don't know much about Da Kenshi, I only know what my parents told me about him. But this is what I know. After humans found out that mutants existed, Da Kenshi, or at least that's the name mutants who saw him named him, formed a group of mutants who were later called 'The Blood Order'. They wanted to make mutants in charge, believing that mutants were the better race of the two. But nobody could've predicted what lengths Da Kenshi would go to to do it. He killed anybody and everybody that got in his way- human and mutant both. He tried, and almost did so many times, to accomplish his goal. The only thing that stopped him was the Gate Keepers. The Gate Keepers were formed when Da Kenshi was as strong as anyone remembers, when people were scared to death of what he would do next, who would be the next person on the news, pronounced dead by him or his Order. Hamado started the Gate Keepers to fight back against them, they started out small because not many people were willing to fight. But ever since they've grown in size and power until they were as powerful as the Blood Order, and they've been fighting ever since. No side winning. Both sides losing. I know that there's a lot more to the story than that, but I never really looked into it because every time I do, it just reminds me of Brannon, fighting in such a bloody war, knowing he could die at any moment, that I looked away from the talk and the rumors about the truth of it all. I shook my head to try to clear it and slid in at our lunch table to hear the kids at the table were talking about the very thing I would've liked to avoid.

"Ten bucks says it was the Order," Remarked Sarah, a girl with green eyes and, originally, almost solid black hair, but she dyed it at the beginning of the year into a light pink to make an attempt to 'stand out from the crowd' she had said.

"No shit Sherlock, you think Keepers would've done something like that?" Rodrick, or Rod as we usually call him, laughed at her and shook his head.

I wanted to say that they just might've, considering that Keepers have been known to go too far on several occasions, like the Order. The Keepers and the Order are just about equal when it comes to body count. But instead I tuned the whole thing out and ignored it all, a specialty of mine, until the bell rung and we had to go to class. The rest of the day passed in a drone of pointless classes, annoying teachers, and ignorant students. When the final bell rung, I grabbed my backpack and dashed to the door and into the streets, taking the familiar path to my house. Normally, I would be walking with Amelia but she got picked up early for a doctor's appointment. It was only a ten minute walk to my house from the school anyways, and I hated riding the bus because it's always too crowded and could be counted on to give you a headache every time. I grabbed for my phone and stuffed my earbuds inside my ears and pushed play on my playlist as I walked. I felt myself relax as I fell into the rhythm of the song and it felt like no time at all before I was walking up the steps to my house. I turned the song off and turned the nob. No, let my rephrase that, I tried to turn the nob. But instead of opening like it should've, the door stayed stubbornly still.

"Dang it," I mutter and started searching around my backpack for the keys. But before I had even undone the strap on my backpack, the door swung open and there stood my father, looking worried and anxious, his face dead white in the doorway.

"Dad?" I froze, staring at him. I haven't seen him look like that since my mother died, and my mind immediately went to the worst conclusion and I could feel my pace quicken.

"Dad, is it Br-" But I didn't get to finish my question before my father was yanking me toward him and pushed me out of the doorway so he could slam the door closed and bolt it. Wait, no, my father had pulled me toward him and I didn't realize it, out of the way of the door. But if he'd done that, then who had just closed and locked the door? I could barely see anything because the curtains were drawn tightly over all the windows and nobody had bothered with turning on a light or two, but I could make out small things. It was a man with almost a buzz-cut haircut and dark skin that he almost blended in with the darkness, making it harder to see him. I reached behind me and felt for something, maybe a light switch, when my hand touched metal, a small kitchen knife. I grasped it and held it tightly behind my back, even though I wasn't entirely sure if there was something for me to us the knife for necessarily. My father gave the man a nod, or maybe he didn't I can't quite see good right now, and suddenly the room filled with light so he must've turned on the light. I stood there trying to get my eyes to understand what light was again when the man spoke.

"My name is Jonathan, your brother asked me to help with the situation." His voice was deep and hard, like it's been used to say too many bad things in a short while.

"What 'situation'? Is Brannon okay?" My voice came out as anxious as my father looked, even though he probably had more reason to be worried than I did.

"Your brother's fine, it's us he's worried about, Elizabeth." My father assured me and they both began to explain.

"Your brother had a mission he was doing and him and his team got caught right in the middle of it. They knew their names, their powers, everything- they knew about you two. They got away thankfully but Brannon wants you two to be put in a base until he's off the radar, but that could be a while." Jonathan explained and gave a slight pause, as if struggling to explain it right. My father sighed and looked into my eyes like he would to check if I'm lying.

"They want us to go to different bases, Elizabeth, to be safer." He said softly. I could only stare at him, uncomprehending what words coming out of his mouth meant. "Jonathan is going to take me to his base and Brannon has asked a favor for someone to take him to theirs, until things settle down a bit."

Slowly, the words sank in. My father and I were going to be separated-for our own safety?- until Brannon got off the radar. But that could take weeks, no scratch that, years, and some people never get off the radar! But we would be safe, the three of us would be. I seem to have to tell myself this multiple times before I could really see it as true. And if we were all safe, then we were fine. I nodded, because even though I was accepting it, I didn't trust my tongue not to betray me.

"How soon do we have to leave?"

Jonathan cleared his throat and glanced worriedly toward the door. "The other Keeper that Brannon is having help should've already been here, but we can't wait here much longer. I'm going to kill him for being this late-"

"Oh, what're you going to do, Jonathan?" Interrupted a surprisingly teenage-like voice from behind me.

Maybe it was fear, or craziness, or I don't even really know what, but I turned and swiftly threw the knife that I had been holding in the general direction of the voice. The boy, a teenager that couldn't have been more than sixteen or seventeen years old, let out a surprised laugh and wiggled the knife out of the wooden panel about a foot from him where it had lodged itself into the wall.

"Nice to know that you already don't like me," The boy joked with a smirk playing on his lips.

"Don, shut up, would you?" Jonathan snapped. "And what took you so long anyway? We should've cleared out of here ten minutes ago!"

Don, as Jonathan had called him, was tall with short messy brown hair and bright blue eyes. And I had to admit, he was pretty handsome. The boy looked pretty strongly built with his broad shoulders and looked like he always wore a grin on his face that came with a look that said 'try me'. He had on a plain black T-shirt, a brown jacket, old blue jeans and purple-on-black running shoes. At my school, he could've passed for a jock easily, with his height and obvious strength- he probably would've played basketball, or tackled other boys in football or something. And with that smirk of his and good looks he would've been one of the popular people that're always messing around in class, annoying the teachers, and getting into trouble. But there was something in the boy's eyes that made him seem much older than a mere teenager, something I couldn't quite place.

"One of them was following me and I had to ditch 'em," Then his voice turned sarcastic. "No, I was hungry and decided to grab some McDonald's on my way here, what do you think stupid?" he snorted and rolled his eyes. Yep, he'd definitely be one of the kids that would annoy the teachers until they were practically ripping their hair out and wanting so desperately to tell them off.

"Whatever," Jonathan muttered and turned back to us. "I'm sorry, Mr. Harmon, Liz, but we have to go now." He instructed us. I barely had time to hug my father and tell him goodbye before Jonathan was hurrying him out the door, telling him to try to blend in.

Don made me wait five minutes until we could leave out the door ourselves, taking the opposite rout as my father and Jonathan had. I was about to turn around and lock the door and stopped myself as we walked away. It's not like I should really be worried by someone who'd be deterred by a locked door, not that we'd be here anyway. That thought kept me quiet as I followed Don through the streets he took me through. It was when he was leading me toward downtown that I finally decided to bother about where we were going.

"Where exactly are we going?" I raised an eyebrow at him as we passed a group of teenagers, none that I recognized, Freshmen, by the looks of them.

"Well, I'm probably going to Hell, don't quite know about you though," He grinned back at me, even though I was glaring at him.

"Are you always this annoying? because I'm honestly going to end up smacking you!" But he just laughed at me.

"Right, says the girl who tried, and failed, to throw a knife at me. We're going through the train station, it's easier than taking you through the Tunnels." He shrugged.

"Tunnels?" I asked, were 'Tunnels' code word for something?

The kid shook his head. "You newbies always have too many questions, you'd have to see it yourself anyway for you to believe me."

As we walked further, I began to see the station. Neither of us said anything as we walked down the stairs and into the place where dozens of people- mostly business men and women dressed for work- were boarding a train. The man that was handing the tickets out took one look at Don and I and nodded. Don mouthed 'thank you' in return and guided me toward a train that looked ready to leave.

"Do you know him or something?" I ask him once we were in the train.

"Tell you in a minute." He said and guided me towards an empty part of the train and shut the doors.

"He dropped out from the Gate Keepers a while back, but he helps us get to our missions as best he can."Don explained, sitting down on a seat.

"Is it, um, safe? To travel publicly, I mean." I ask nervously, looking around. Since when did I become suspicious? I guess now.

He nodded. "Hiding in plain sight, the tunnels are one of our main ways to travel though. It's just hard to get there, so this is easier for small missions."

Though that didn't exactly settle my nerves down.

"So, is Liz a nickname it is that your actual name?" He asks, catching me off guard with the question that seemed so of place with everything going on.

"Um, yeah, it's just a nickname. My actual name is Elizabeth Harmon.

He nodded and extended his hand, saying, "My name's Donny Keeney." I shook it and tried to calm myself down, but I couldn't.

"So how long is it going to take to get there, to your 'base' or whatever you called it?" I asked- patience was never my strong suite- as he settled into a seat and I took the one facing him as I tried to get comfy in the seat, to no avail.

"A half hour, and a little bit of walking, but not much."

He shrugged and pulled out a good sized black metal knife with a silver hilt from a looping in his belt and started twirling it between his fingers. The knife had something written on the blade, but it looked like it was in another language.

"What's that?" I ask, raising an eyebrow at the odd blade.

"A knife."

"You know what I meant. Where'd you get the knife?" I mutter, quickly gaining back my former annoyance with the boy.

"It was my father's." The boy said simply and looked away from me, out the window as the train started moving- fast.

A half hour later, with no words spoken between me and Donny, we got off the train quickly. I once again followed Donny as we walked down a street that I didn't recognize. We'd been walking for about ten minutes, when I notice something odd. The street that we'd been walking on for the last few minutes, was deserted. And not a 'not that many people' kind of deserted, but a 'there's no sign of life for a five miles' kind of deserted. Like there was something about this place that keeps people away, and made me want to turn back as well.

"Donny, where exactly are we?" I ask, glancing around for any sigh of life, anywhere, and got even more worried when of course I found none.

"On a street in Florida." he said, rolling his eyes and smirking. How the heck am I supposed to get a strait answer from this kid?

"Oh lighten up!" He sighed while I gave him my best 'i'm gonna kill you in your sleep unless you start being serious' look. A look my mother had sometimes used on my brother and I when we would play jokes on her. "We're almost there. And the place is like this because it's so close to the base and we can't have civilians too close to it." But that didn't explain how it kept- what had Donny called it?- civilians from coming near here.

He turning down another alleyway before I could ask though, but this one was, literally, a dead end. All that was there was a flickering street lamp and a trashcan that smelled like it hasn't been emptied since World War Two. But apparently none of this got through Donny's thick skull because he walked up to the street light and held his arm, which I noticed had a dark blood red wristband on it, into the flickering light.

"Hey stupid!" I call, walking up to him. "It's a dead end, do you not know what that means? It means 'turn back', not-"

But I stopped mid sentence out of pure shock. Because the wall was moving . It started to shift and turn and even break in some points until there was enough room for twenty people to walk through. I barely noticed that Donny was laughing at what must've been the shock that must be written all over my face.

"Are you just going to stand there or are you gonna go through?" He asked, appearing unfazed by anything that just happened.

I nodded, still astounded, as I walked through the wall with Donny right behind me. As soon as he was on the other side of the wall, it shifted back with a slam. The other side of the wall looked like a battle ground. There was obstacles to overcome, dummies to train with, dunes to climb over and weapons to train with. There were people practicing with swords, throwing knifes, and weapons that I'd never heard of before. There was a large group of mutants and humans alike practicing dodging and fighting other Keeper's attacks with weapons of their own.

As I watched all of it, somehow I knew that I belong here, with these people. It wasn't like how I decided that I liked reading over math, no, like something in me had shifted. Like my focus had shifted slightly, that my mind's more entwined to the people here than at home. And I knew that I could do something here, if not much, but I could help somehow. And I was determined to do just that.

The Base.

P.O.V Elizabeth Harmon.

"Come on. Let me show you the rest of the base."

Donny urged and started walking toward one of the main buildings. I had been so focused on the training-like- area in front of me, I'd barely noticed anything else. The entire- base? Is that what Donny's been calling it?- looked to be in a giant square, with four walls that looked like it was made by a mix of brick and silver metal that someone had combined together, like two pieces of cloth being sewn into one. There were three buildings lined up in a row with only one building standing a bit far off from the others. The building that Donny was directing me to was the one In the middle. It was the largest of the three and didn't seem to have but a few windows. It looked slightly worn, stable yes, but still worn down a bit, as if it had been standing for hundreds of years and just wanted to crumble into the dirt. Donny must've seen the look on my face because he said,

"Yeah, yeah. I know, it doesn't look like very much. But it's all we got."

The large metal door was cracked so all Donny had to do was push it slightly and it swung open. For some reason, I doubted that the base would actually hold up in battle. The first thing that I saw was a girl with bright red hair jogging over to us.

"About time, Don." She said, folding get arms over her chest in fake annoyance. "Jacob's been waiting for you, says to get ready for training. And you're late."

"Where is he?" Donny sighs, the look of annoyance on his face wasn't faked.

"How the hell would I know, do I look like a Commander to you?"

She glares playfully at him and after a moment, she smiles. "He's in the training building."

Donny obviously knew which building she was talking about because didn't ask questions, but didn't go out the door, instead went up a flight of stairs behind the girl's back but stopped on one of the steps and looked back.

"Hey Renae, can-" he started, but the girl was already answering his question.

"Yeah, me and Tommy will show Liz around." She said.

Donny nodded and raced up the stairs to 'get ready for training' as the girl had said.

"Come on, Liz, I'll introduce you to Thomas." Renae said sweetly.

"Sorry, but how do you know my name?" I ask, realizing that Donny couldn't have told her since he didn't even know at first. As I turned to her, I got a closer look at the girl. She looked to be about my age with freckles covering every inch of her light skin. She had bright green eyes like emeralds and long blazing red hair that glowed like wood that had been set a-blaze on a dark night.

She was wearing ripped blue jeans and a violet tank top. As I looked closer, I realized that she had a pure white wristband that looked like the one that Donny was wearing.

"I can see things, before they're supposed to happen." She explained to me and smiled at me. I got the feeling that someone like Renae would've been the nice girl at my school, the one who's friends with everyone. But there was something fierce about her expression that made me think otherwise.

"So you're physic ?" I was proud of myself for remembering that one, since there're so many terms for different mutants it's hard to keep track of them, but Renae shook her head.

"I prefer the term 'Prophesier', and my visions aren't always right, either." I had no idea what a Prophesier was, but I guess it was a type of physic, only I'd never heard of it.

"It's kinda like she sees different versions of the future, and has to figure out which one is actually going to happen."

I jumped, startled by the voice, because it wasn't Renae's voice. And because it was right behind me. I turned around to see a boy with strangely white hair leaning on the wall by the metal door. He looked about sixteen, maybe seventeen. He had shorts that went a little below his knees and a short sleeved blue Nike shirt. He was built like Donny, with a strong build and tall, though he might've been a little shorter than Donny. Also around his wrist was a dark green wristband. Renae cracked up and the boy joined in, chuckling right along with her.

"Sorry Liz, but you just scare too easily." Renae smiled and shook her head at me.

"Sorry, I really didn't mean to scare you." The boy said, but he was biting back a laugh. "My name's Thomas Woods, but everyone calls me Tommy." He offered his hand and, after a moment, I shook it.

"Elizabeth Harmon, but people call me Liz." I introduced myself.

"So you're mutant." It wasn't a question, if Renae could see the future, she's mutant.

She nodded and started walking. "No, I'm gifted." she says sarcastically and rolls her eyes.

I followed Renae, while looking around the odd building. I'd been so caught up with Renae and Thomas, I hadn't even really noticed the inside of the building. The walls were made of what looked oddly like a mix of brick and cement and as I looked around, I noticed that there were no doors to the large rooms, like someone had build a large entry way, but never bothered with a door. Along the walls was more of that strange writing that was on Donny's knife, that odd mix of words and symbols. This part of the wall seemed more of soft cement, not soft enough that if you touch it it'll fall into your hands, but soft enough that it can be etched on and written on with a weapon or something. But the writing, for sure, wasn't English. At first glance, it might seem like sloppy English, but when you really try to concentrate on the words, it seems like they start to mix up so it's like trying to untangle the actual word.

"Hey Renae," I murmur, walking closer to one of the walls to get a better look. "What's this?" I ask, still looking at the wall.

"Oh that?" Renae says, coming to stand beside me.

"A while back, people started writing stories and tales about Hamado and Da Kenshi's past, what they've done."

She explained, running her hand along the wall softly, like she was scared it was going to give way under her touch. Maybe I was wrong, maybe it was soft enough to fall apart. When she spoke next, her voice was soft. "Some of these are stories of Gate Keepers who died in combat, died on missions or have done incredible things."

I noticed that Renae was staring at a certain piece of the wall and she looked like she was going to cry.

"Renae, do you need a minute?" Thomas murmured, putting a hand on her shoulder softly.

She jumped a little, but after a few seconds, nodded to Tommy and walked away. Thomas quickly took her spot beside me.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make her upset." I apologize, taking my eyes off the wall to follow Renae as she turned and almost ran up the stairs and out of my view.

"Don't be sorry, it's nothing that you said." He sighed and ran a hand through his short white hair. "Renae's older sister, Cayla, died about two months ago in battle." He explained sadly. "She tries to be strong for Mia, her little sister, but it gets her sometimes, ya know?" I nod.

I definitely know that feeling. For the first few months after my mother died, I would walk past a shop that my mother had mentioned to me or had gone to often and just break down crying. Eventual I got better, but I still find myself doing it from time to time.

"That-" He points to a paragraph of the weird writing, "Is a story about the battle that killed her. It gets hard for Renae, even though she can only understand some of the words."

"The writing is in an old mutant language." He stated simply, like it want anything out of the ordinary. Like a new mutant language wasn't odd.

"Back when people thought that mutants were witches and the children of the devil, mutants created their own language to give others advice on how to hide their powers or tell them how to run away, stuff like that." He explained, gesturing to the wall. "Now we use it to tell stories and occasionally for directions and stuff, but very few, and I'm lucky to be one of those few, who can completely understand all the words."

"This boy had the same type of writing on a knife that he had, but I couldn't read it right." I murmur, turning my attention to the wall.

"Wait, you talking 'bout Don?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Oh, you know him," I mumble. "Well yeah, Donny had some writing on a knife. Do you know what it means?"

He nodded. "Yeah, I'm fluent in Katane. It means 'No Victory Without Sacrifice."

"Why would his father have that on a knife?" I ask, surprised. I'm not sure exactly what I'd been expecting the words to mean, but it wasn't that.

"Don's dad was a Gate Keeper before..." Thomas said, starting to get uncomfortable with the conversation.

"Crap, I'm, uh, I'm doing horrible at my job, aren't I?" Tommy said, hurriedly attempting to change the subject. "Come on, let me show you around."

He started to walk to the closest opening, and stood waiting for me. I sighed, telling myself that I'd ask later. "This is our 'cafeteria' of sorts."

He gestured to the large room filled with wooden tables like you would see at a summer camp. There was a part of the room that was cut off and looked like it was used for making the food and such.

"We shift out people every few days, usually we got dozens of people per day in here. We have breakfast and supper, but usually everyone's too busy around lunch time so we don't have it. Not everyone can fit in here so a bunch of us eat out in the training field, you're welcome to eat out there with us." He offered casually.

"Who's 'us', just you and Renae?"

He shook his head. "No, usually Donny, Jacob, and sometimes Logan eat with us unless they're busy. " I didn't bother to ask who Jacob or Logan was, my brain was already fuzzy enough.

I nodded and he showed me the rest of the building. The other floors of the building mostly consisted of good sized bedrooms with as much as five or six beds in them. There was enough room here to fit a normal high school.

"How many people live here?" I asked in bafflement as he lead me up the third and final floor. How many people could possibly fit in this place?

"About three hundred, maybe a little more, including kids." He shrugs and walks down the stairs, which were made of the same odd mix of brick and cement. Once we were on the second floor, Tommy directed me to one of the rooms are the end of the long hallway.

"You'll share a room with Renae and three other girls. We usually keep the boys and girls separate unless they're family or something like that." He opens the door and Donny and Renae were sitting on a bed, their mouths moving like they were talking and he had an arm around her shoulders. Neither seemed to notice us until Thomas made a loud, fake, cough. Both Donny and Renae looked up in surprise.

"Oh, hey Thomas. Hello Elizabeth." Renae greeted us with a small, sad smile. She looked like she'd been crying and her eyes were slightly puffy but I pretended not to notice.

"I was showing Liz around, but, um, we can come back later." He offered, his hand still on the door nob.

"No, I have to go train with Jake. He's probably going to kill me for being late. See you guys at supper." Donny sighs and gets up.

"Have fun with that, he probably is going to kill you." Thomas says, laughing. "Hey, if we find a dead body, we'll at least know who it is."

"Screw you Tommy." Donny smiles and jogs out the door.

"Sorry, we didn't know that you two were in here, really." Tommy apologizes, closing the door behind us.

"It's fine, we were just talking." Renae shrugs.

"Oh, just talking, Renae? You sure about that?" Thomas smirks, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm warning you Tommy, I'll kill you in your sleep." But it was obvious that she would never do that. "You can take that bed over there, Liz." Renae said, turning her attention to me.

"My little sister sleeps in that bed over there," she points to the bed opposite of mine.

There were three beds on one side of the room and another three on the other. There was one small dresser on the left of each bed. Renae's bed was to the right of mine and on her dresser she had pictures of her and a smaller girl with the sane bright red hair and also with an older girl with the same hair. These must be her sisters. I looked at the older girl, Cayla, Thomas said her name was. I would never be able to fight again if I was Renae. I'd never be able to do it knowing a family member died doing the sane thing. Then a thought of Brannon or my father dying in one of those bases struck me and I turned away from the picture, my chest tightening in a pain that was all in my head.

"We'll get you some clothes later, but for now I want to show you the rest of the base." Renae urged, jumping up from her bed and pulling me to the door. The three of us headed out of the door and down the stairs. She pushed Thomas and I out of the door and to the building on the left. My eyes caught sight of the smallest building because I now saw what I had missed earlier. Though it was the smallest building and looked like it would barely fit a few small rooms, it seemed to command attention, like it just wouldn't be allowed to be ignored. It looked to be made of pure black type of metal that seemed to twist and turn as you looked at it.

"What's that building?" I ask, looking at it curiously.

"We don't go in there,"Renae said sternly. "Ever. That's the Commander's building. It's only for the three Commanders."

"Who are the Commanders?" I ask.

"What - Thomas, didn't you explain anything to her?" Renae scolded him.

"No, I didn't get the chance. I was going to after we stopped by the room." He defended himself.

"Boys!" Renae sighed, turning to me. "Alright, so in every Gate Keeper base, there are three commanders. Each Commander has an 'apprentice' if you will. The first in Command is appointed by the council members. You know what the Council is, right?" She asked, and stopped walking.

My brother is on the Council, so of course I know a bit about it. The council is made of every Commander of every base. They make and vote on rules and guidelines for people to follow so that there is a little bit of control in all of the chaos.

"Yeah, I know what the council is."

She nodded. "Good. Well, like I said, the council picks the first in command for every base. Then the first in command, our first in command is a girl. Kaylee Sears. Well every commander, except the third in command, has a apprentice. A student that they teach everything they know to. Later, that student becomes a commander. Kaylee's apprentice is Jacob Wills. He's now the second in command." She said as we reached the door to the building. I guess that I probably should've known a bit more about how the bases worked, considering that Brannon was a Commander of one, but I guess I'd always tuned it out because I never wanted to hear it.

"This is our 'training area' of sorts," she gestures, walking in through the door.

Unlike the other building, this one seemed to be made entirely of that soft cement with the same writing lining every crease of the walls. Even the ceiling and floor had writing on it. Oddly enough, though I thought that the writing was a bit creepy earlier, it now made me feel calm and relaxed. Unlike the other building, this one only had one room. One humongous room. The room had weapons ready to use and areas to train with them. There was a target shooting area for bows and throwing knifes. There was an area for boxing, an area for what looked like mutant training and more areas for different weapons that I couldn't even count or name. The room was about the size of two gyms and had enough space to probably fit the whole base. About ten feet away was a mat for wrestling, or maybe sparing. Donny and another boy was sparing on the mat, each trying to get the other down. The boy that Donny was sparing with seemed to be in his late mid twenties or early thirties. He had short dirty-blond hair and looked like he was a little taller than Donny, though he had the same build as him and Thomas.

"I bet Donny will get him on the ground first." Renae said, smirking at Tommy.

"Yeah right, you say that all the time, Renae." Tommy rolled his eyes at her. "I bet Jacob does." He added.

"Your on!" She said and shook his hand.

"He's one of the Commanders, right? Jacob Wills?"

Renae nodded. "Yeah, Jacob Wills, second in Command."

I nodded and we watched Jacob and Donny spar for a bit more.

Training.

 P.O.V: Donny Keeney.

I ran into the training building.

"Jacob is gonna kick my ass." I mutter to myself, opening the door and jogging in.

"You bet I am." I hear his gruff voice from the training room.

"Sorry Jacob." I apologized, but I knew better than to give him an excuse, even if it was a true one.

"You'd better be." He threatened, and I knew that I'd be training here all night probably.

As we were sparing he asked, "So why were you late?"

"Renae had a little breakdown and I was tying to calm her down." I said truthfully while I tried to kick Jacob's foot out from under him.

That one didn't go to well, he lifted his foot at the last second and smashed it down on my own. I fell on my back and tried to use my elbow to keep me from fully hitting the ground. The only rules for when me and Jacob spar is that you can't use your powers at all, and that if you're the first one on the mat, you lose. I jump up, using my elbows to push me off the ground.

"Do you think she's gonna be okay?" He asked, concerned.

Jacob had always been concerned about everybody on our team. The people on our team was me, Tommy, Jacob, and Renae. Me, Tommy, and Jake are usually the ones that actually go out and do the mission and Renae talks to us through a microphone in our ear and tries to tell us what to do. Since Renae can see the future, we rely on her to tell us what to do, what not to do, where to go, where not to go. I don't know if I would actually be alive if Renae hadn't been guiding us on some of our more difficult missions. After twenty or did minutes, we hear the door open and close. I look up to see who it was, and get kicked square in the chest and nearly lose my balance.

"Pay attention Don," Jacob warned me, smirking.

"Yeah yeah," I mutter as I heard voices coming from the hall.

We stop after about ten minutes and I saw who'd been watching us. Renae, Tommy, and Elizabeth were leaning against the far wall watching us train. Renae smiled at me and Thomas smirked and said something to Elizabeth. Thomas reached into a cooler by his feet and threw me and Jake a water bottle.  

"Having fun yet, Don?" Thomas smirked at me, apparently glad that he wasn't in my place.

"Just wait Tommy. Wait until you and me train." I warned him, twisting of the cap on the water bottle and taking a large chug of water.

"What, thirsty or something?" Jacob grins and takes a long drink of his own water.

I shake my head but say nothing, I was so thirsty it felt like my mouth was made of sand paper.

"You're new, aren't you?" Jacob asked Elisabeth, now noticing the girl.

"Yeah, I'm Liz." She says and reaches out to shake his hand.

"Jacob Wills," he says, studying her like he does when he studies a soldier in training.

I rolled my eyes at him. I've seen a lot of people you would never think that could be soldiers become good fighters, but I honestly don't believe that someone like Elizabeth could ever  be one of the Missionaries. A Missionarie is someone who, as the name says, goes out on missions. There are other positions that people do, like Guards, some teachers, people who take care of the younger kids in the base, cooks, etc. But I really couldn't see Liz being a Missionarie, but then again, I've been wrong before.

"Hey," I murmur, walking over to Renae.

"Hey, was training fun?" She smiles at me.

"Never is," but I was smiling.

I shrug off my old brown jacket, knowing that it'll only get more hot in the room as we train. The only reason that I wear the stupid thing is to hide my scar when I'm out in public to not draw attention to myself. My scar goes from my right wrist to the top of my shoulder, I've had the scar for more than a year now and every time I see the angry bright red line, I still panic, like it was the first time I'd seen it. Elizabeth stared at my arm for a good moment before realizing what she was doing and returned to a conversation that she, Thomas, and Jacob had apparently been having. I shook my head in slight amusement at Liz's reaction. Renae raises an eyebrow, apparently not paying attention. I just shook my head, knowing I'll tell her later.

"Hey, I think we'd better get to dinner before it runs out." Thomas said, checking his watch.

"Yeah, probably. I don't want Ashley giving us the death glare" Jacob agreed.

"Oh please, she does that no matter what we do." I joked and followed the others out of the building.

We went to the main building and into the cafeteria which, as always, was already packed with people. We each grabbed a good sized brown bag and walked outside. I caught Thomas whispering to Elizabeth as they grabbed theirs. We all sat down and ate our normal dinner. In the bag was a bottle of water, a small container of corn, and a turkey sandwich. Renae sits down beside me and started eating. Renae and I didn't talk much, too busy listening to Tommy and Jake asking Elizabeth questions.

"Are you a mutant or are you human?" Thomas asked and I remembered that knife coming at me without her even touching it. If that girl wasn't mutant, neither was I.

"Mutant," she says, and holds her hand palm up and almost immediately, her sandwich flew into her hand.

 "Telekinesis, that's rare." Jake murmured, nodding.

"Sorry?" Renae asked, finally butting in, confused. "but what's 'telekinesis'?" 

"It's where you can control solid objects, make them move, you know that kind of stuff." Elizabeth shrugged, taking a bite of the sandwich.  "Are most of the people here mutant, or just some?" Elizabeth asked, taking a drink of her water bottle.

"No, it's about half and half. We're all mutant, but a lot of us are human." Thomas shrugged, waving his hand over all of us. 

"What can you do then?" Elizabeth asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I can create portals," Thomas started, and held up his hand and a tiny dark green oval appeared in his hand.

 As he concentrated, the oval grew bigger and bigger until it was larger than his body. With a flick of his wrist, he threw the spiraling oval at a dummy about ten yards away, slicing it in half, the upper half disappearing. Elizabeth had her mouth hung open from shock, and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing at her. I suppose that she hasn't seen many mutants before. Thomas held up a finger and, a moment later, a good sized dark green oval appeared and the upper half of the dummy landed just in front of Elizabeth.

"Alright, I'll admit it." Elizabeth laughed, smiling at Tommy. "that's awesome!"

Tommy smiled at her and opened her mouth to say something, but Kaylee came running out of the small black building toward us. Kaylee had dark orange hair and bright green eyes that came with a 'no bullshit' attitude. I had always admired Kaylee because she'd been a lone commander for years before Jacob came so she had to do pretty much everything by herself and still tries to do more than her fair share. 

"Hey, the Council needs to talk to us. Now." Kaylee ordered. She motioned for us to follow her back to the Commander's building. I sighed and forced myself off the ground, and gave Tommy and Renae a mocking salute before I jogged after Kaylee, Jacob not far behind me.

The Meeting.

P.O.V: Donny Keeney.

The first thing that anyone, especially mutants, would feel when walking into the Commander's Building is an almost overwhelming weight on their body- like someone had pushed a giant weight onto their chest. That's what Black Metal does to a person. To a human, they would feel only a small amount of pressure, and it would do nothing to them. But to a mutant they would not be able to use their powers at all, and if you touch the Black Metal for too long, it could actually make a mutant sick. Kaylee was already there, waiting on us.

"What's going on?" Jacob asks, stepping through the door.

"That base in Washington that blew up? It wasn't theirs, it was one of ours." she muttered and clicked a button on the moniter that sat in the front of the room. A live video of every base popped up, of each of the three Commanders from every Gate Keeper base.

"Everybody here?" the First in Command from the 'Council base' as a lot of us call it because- even though every commander from each base makes up the council, if there isn't enough time to call a meeting, or just if they don't think it necessary, they'll make the decision theselves. They're also the base that designes the missions. Each base decides their own missions that they do, unless they're given by the Council base, then someone has to do it. The Council base was the first building that was ever made specifically to be a Keeper base. Many people believe that the base was made by Hamado himself, but I wasn't sure if I believed it or not.

"Good. We have a problem," the Commander started in a low voice- Commander Vemos- and I rolled my eyes and fought the urge to say 'reallyIs that why we're having a meeting right nowI thought we were going to start a book club! But I wasn't dumb enough to speak like that to another Commander. Kaylee would chew my ass out!

"Multiple bases have been bombed in the last few months, seven, to be exact." the commander on the right of Vemos said- Commander Milla. "Nobody from any base had been found alive and- and we're missing many of the bodies." she stuttered slightly.

"So, what you're saying is, some could still be alive?" the First in command from our base in Mexico asked- Commander Faith Jones, one of our newer Commanders.

"We don't believe that's the case, Jones." Commander Vemos sighed and some his head like he was already tired of the conversation. "The Order has done this kind of thing before, stealing bodies, it's cruel and ruthless. And they've done it many times before." but Vemos seemed to be diverting Jones's question.

He wasn't lying, they have stolen bodies of the people they've killed. Some do it if a Keeper is on the radar, and they take the bodies as proof that they're dead. But mostly, they do it purely to be cruel, to be cruel to the family, and not allow them to bury their loved one. It's one of the worst things that the Order had been known to do.

"Well, how many bodies are missing, exactly?" Kaylee asked, sensing that something was off too.

"One hundred." Commander Milla murmered.

That started the arguing. Almost all of the Commanders started to argue and debate on wether or not it should even be looked into. 

"Wait, hold on." Kaylee had raised her voice to be heard over the other Commanders and was now glaring at Commander Vemos.

"The other bases that were overtaken, the other six, were there any bodies missing from those bases too?"

The other Commanders stopped talking to hear the answer, all looking at Vemos. Vemos said nothing, almost refusing to answer.

"Yes." it was the Commander on Vemos's left, Commander Mongo. The other two Commanders glared at him. "Around one hundred every time, the rest of the bodies were found. All with no survivors."

It was like a bomb went off on the computer screen. Now everybody was asking why they hadn't been told about the missing bodies and why we were being told now, if they say that there's no chance of them being found alive. It felt like a life time before anyone said something that I could make outm

"This needs to be looked into!" Jacob finnaly burst out in anger. "If there's any hope that they're alive, then for the families sake, we need to find out why they've taken so many bodies, and see if they can be found alive! They have never gone to this length just to say that they can, there is something going on!" Jacob crossed his arms and glared at Vemos. Neither Jacob, Kaylee, or myself liked Vemos very much. He kept a lot of things to himself, a lot of things that could've made a difference on many missions.

"Listen!" Vemos yelled, his face turning red in anger as he glared at Jacob. Then again, Commander Vemos doesn't like us too much either. "We called this meeting so that we could for warn the Commanders about protecting their bases, not so that you could question our decisions!"

"Don't you think you should've done that when the first base got attacked, when the first hundred bodies went missing?" I finally butt my head in, getting thoroughly annoyed. "Don't you think you should've told us this, if you were just concerned about us protecting our bases? I call bullshit!" they were covering their own butt, and everyone knew it. They just didn't want to investigate what's actually going on.

Vemos glared at me like he wanted to strangle me, and he wasn't the first. Just as the other Commanders started debating, there was a loud sound coming from one of the bases on the screen like, literally, a bomb had been dropped. The one in Mexico. "What was that, Commander?" Vemos asked cautiously, not having to raise his voice since everyone had quieted.

"I, um, I don't know." she murmered and quietly told her apprentice to go check it out. He didn't even get to the door before we all heard screaming.

"Order!" we heard someone outside of sight scream.

They were being attacked.

"Commander Jones?" Vemos raised his voice, trying to get her attention. She looked back at the comouter screen and opened her mouth to say something, but we heard more yelling and after a minute her screen fuzzed out and shut off.

"We will send our people over there to help them," Vemos told the rest of us. "You all need to secure your bases, the Order is getting more bold in their attacks. Go back to your bases." and just like that, Commander Vemos's screen went blank, and immediately everyone else's did too.

None of us said anything for a few minutes.  "I have to get a hold of a few people, why dont you all get outta here." it wasn't a request, it was an order. So Jacob and I hurriedly got out of the building, not wanting to mess with Kaylee right now.

Neither Jacob nor I said anything about the meeting until we got to our room. Unlike the other bedrooms in the base, there was only two beds. Jacob and I shared the room since our powers can react badly if we had nightmares and we didn't want anyone hurt. The room was half the size of a regular room in the base, and only had two beds and two dressers.

"There's something going on, they don't just take bodies like that, not that many!" Jacob mutters, throwing himself onto his bed.

I nodded, it was weird, that was true. Jacob didn't have the same past as everyone else, his family was all Blood Order. He was a teenager when he ran away and found the Gate Keepers. They had wanted to use Jacob as a weapon when they find out that he was a Bender, so he ran away. Jacob had told me everything about his past, his family, who his brother and father was, everything. When he first told me, I was cautious, but I knew that Jacob wasn't like them.

"I know, but why would they take a hundred bodies, from seven bases? There's no point! Even if they are alive, well, why would they keep them alive? Leverage?" I was grasping at loose straws, but I was also hoping.

"I really don't know Don, I really don't." Jacob sighed.

I looked at the digital clock on Jacob's dresser and was surprised to see that it was nearly midnight. Apparently arguing with an idiot takes hours. What a surprise. I threw off my shirt and fell into my bed and I could hear Jacob snoring before I closed my eyes.

I Think I'm In Trouble.

Time: Eight Years ago. Place: Ocala Florida State orphanage.

P.O.V: Donny Keeney.

I had my father’s knife in one hand, a swirling ball of water in the other. I was sitting at the small river bank that was about half a mile from the Orphanage fence, as I always am after school. Everyday for the last two years since I came to this stupid orphanage, I’ve wiggled under the small hole under the fence and come to this small riverbank. Everyday, I practice my water bending, just moving water around my hands, and then i started to get better at it. I began to be able to transform water into ice, extremely sharp ice. I used it like a knife, even cutting myself a few times. But never have I ever dared to try Blood Bending, I was always too scared of what would happen. I’ve been in school and have been taught enough to know that Blood Benders like me were supposed to be extremely powerful, but more importantly, really dangerous. They’re supposed to be one of the most dangerous mutants in the world. The orphanage has plenty of mutants, but I don’t think they would be too thrilled about what I can do. Benders are only supposed to be able to have their have their powers when they’re about fifteen because they have to have time to manifest to a point where they could use them. I’ve had my powers since I was seven, and since the day I got them, I wanted to get rid of them. I was so scared, hell, I still am scared, that I would end up hurting someone, or that they would put me in a mutant prison. So when I found this river bank, I practiced my water Bending. It had anyways made me calmer, feeling the familiar cold water swirling between my fingers. Every time I was stressed or angry, I would run down to the bank and practice until I was calm again and I would have to try to explain to Mrs. Wallis and Mr. Malcum- the adults in charge of controlling the kids at the orphanage- why my clothes we’re soaked. Maybe that’s how I’ve managed to hide my powers for so long.

But I should’ve known that it wouldn’t last forever.

I was so engaged with my water Bending that I didn’t hear the voices of two teenage boys drawing closer. I had my knife in a loop in my belt. The ball of water in my hands was growing and growing until it had covered the front of my vision completely.

“What the-” a voice nearly yelled out of surprise and I turned around so fast that everything seemed to blur.

I’d lost all concentration that I’d had and a second after I turned the water that I had been Bending, dropped, soaking me to the bone.

“Bender,” one of the two kids whispered. Derick, an older boy from the orphanage that I’d never gotten along with.

The two boys were brothers, with the same dirty blond hair and strong build. The older one was about fifteen, The other was fourteen. They both starred at me with wide eyes and open mouths.

“Please,” I begged. They were going to tell Mrs. Wallis and Mr. Malcum everything, and who knows what they would do. “Please, please, don’t tell them. Please.” I was so scared I couldn’t raise my voice above a whisper.

They started to back away, stealing glances at each other and back at me.

“Go get Mrs. Wallis and Mr. Malcum, tell them that we have a situation.” Shawn murmured and Derick started to run off in the direction of the orphanage.

“Wait, please!” I yelled in desperation and reached my hand out toward the Derick, maybe hoping to grab him.

let’s just say it didn’t exactly happen like that.

As my fingers grazed his wrist, I felt the fear and panic that I hadn’t felt in two years. But, deep in my body, I felt something new stir and rise above the other feelings. Something unusual, something powerful. Something that I’d never felt before, and the worst part? I loved it. Before I could understand what exactly the feeling was, the younger boy dropped to the ground. His body started shaking and writhing and his mouth, ears, eyes, and nose started to bleed.

Blood Bending. That’s what the feeling was, Blood Bending.

“Derick!” Shawn screamed and bent down and gripped Derick’s shoulders and tried to shake him.

“I didn’t mean to, I swear I didn’t mean to do that.” I whisper, backing away.

Shawn slowly got to his feet, his hands shaking in anger. “You little Mutt.” He snarled and lunged for me.

I screamed and jumped into the grass, barely missing him. I ran as fast as I possibly could back to the orphanage, not even thinking about what would happen once I got there. I scramble under the broken fence, the boy just steps behind me. I jump up from the ground once I was in front of the gate and run to the old wooden doors and pry them open. I slam the doors shut behind me and made sure to lock them. I turn to run up the stairs where the rooms are- hoping to grab a couple things and then run maybe- when I, literally, run into Mr. Malcum.

“Donny,” he says, steadying me, worried. He’d heard the screaming. “What was all that noise outside, I thought you all might be hurt.” he raised an eyebrow, Mr. Malcum always seemed to know if we were lying, or if something was wrong. Right now, that alarm of his must be going off the radar, I know mine is. And it was screaming ‘RUN STUPID’!

“Nothing’s wrong.” I squeak. Now, I’ve told some pretty bad lies, but this topped it off without question.

“Donny, just tell me-” the door started to shake, and he was yelling, banging on the door.

Mr. Malcum let go of me to unlock the door. Once he did, the boy stood there for a moment before finding me. The other kids were looking at us now, wanting to know what was wrong.

“Shawn!” Mr. Malcum glares at him, annoyed. “What do you think you’re doing, banging on the door like-” Shawn lunged for me again, pushing past Mr. Malcum.

He grabbed me by my hair and slammed me against the wall. My vision swirled and I thought I felt something wet on my face. I felt blow after blow to my face and stomach. It seemed like it was a lifetime before they stopped. I could hear adults yelling, hear kids screaming. Mr. Malcum was holding back Shawn as best as he could before some of the older boys intervened and stopped him. It took me a minute to see Mrs. Wallis was bending over me, trying to get me to sit up.

“I didn’t mean to do it.” it came out of my mouth before I could stop myself.

“You little Mutt!” Shawn screamed at me, trying, but failing, to get past the people holding him back. “I’m going to kill you for hurting him! Hear me? I’m going to kill you!”

“What are you talking about?” Mrs. Wallis yelled, raising her voice and glaring at the two of us.

“He hurt Derick, he was bleeding really bad. By the river bank.” he added.

Two of the older boys who weren’t holding back Shawn ran out the door to see if he was right. “Call an ambulance, just in case.” Mrs. Wallis instructed to no one in particular, but knew that it would get done all the same.

“You’re nothing but a filthy Mutt!” Shawn snarled and tried again to break away.

“Enough Shawn!” Mr. Malcum yelled, trying to calm the situation, but that effort was immediately defeated once the door opened again and the two boys burst in with Deric between them.

Once everyone caught sight of the bloody mess that was Derick, everyone started to freak out. one of the boys laid him down and checked his pulse. “He’s alive!” he had to shout to be heard over all the noise. Now everyone was looking between me, Shawn, and Derick, trying to figure out what could possibly have happened. Just as I finally began to sit up, we heard the sirens, and I couldn’t tell if it was an ambulance or the police. Either way, I was not going to stick around for when the truth comes out. I tried to stand up, maybe In preparation to run out the door the first chance I got. That was not going to be the easiest thing I’ve ever done. As soon as I was on my feet, the room started to sway and my head felt like it was pounding out of my scull. I took a step toward the stairs and felt my feet slip out from under me and felt Mrs. Wallis grab me. There was a pounding on the front door and multiple kids jumped up to open it. Paramedics rushed in and started to check Derick for vitals. I needed to run, and I needed to do it now. I shook off Mrs. Wallis’s arm just as three police officers came in.

The kids were screaming and it took several minutes for the police to calm them down. “What happened in here?” one of the male police officers yelled, looking between Derick- who the paramedics were putting on a stretcher and hauling out into an ambulance- and Shawn, who the older boys were still holding back. “Let go of him.” another officer commanded, nodding at Shawn. The boys hesitated but in the end, let go of him, though a few did move to stand between us.

“He’s a Mutt! He was Bending, he’s a Bender!” Shawn growled and pointed at me.

“That’s not true!” I lied, I was going to do anything to not go to some mutant prison, or to one of those ‘Mutant facilities’. They’re supposed to help mutants control their powers, but there was a girl who came here after she went to one of those facilities, and she told me that they tortured her until she’s control herself. I would never go there, no matter what.

Now everyone was starting at me, as if the truth would appear on my face if they starred hard enough. The only thing that I could rely on was the fact that I’m young, and I was going to try to seem as innocent as possible.

“I never hurt him, how can I even be a Bender?” I tried to roll my eyes, but that only made the pounding in my head worse, so I stopped. “I’m freaking nine!” I put as much sarcasm as I could muster, and that’s saying something. I’m a very annoying kid, in case you couldn’t tell.

“Then try to explain why your clothes are soaked, Hell, why they’re always soaked!” Shawn demands.

Crap, he had me there. I opened my mouth to say something, what I have no idea, when Mr. Malcum butted in.

“Just because his clothes are wet, doesn’t mean he’s a Blood Bender. Blood Benders are fifteen-at least- not nine." I knew there was a reason that I liked Mr. Malcum.

“Everybody shut it!” another officer commanded, and looked at me. “If you’re not a mutant, then you wouldn’t mind doing a blood test, would you? Just to verify?”

It didn’t seem like I had much of a choice, but I also knew what would happen when the test came back positive.

“It will only take a few short minutes, we have a blood kit on hand. And then, if they it up negative, we can find out what happened.” a lady officer added, but I didn’t miss the whole ‘if’ part.

“Do I have to?” Very convincing, Donny. Great job! Way to make it sound even worse for you.

“Yes.” the one in charge narrowed his eyes at me. He didn’t believe me.

“Okay.” I whispered.

The lady pulled out a syringe and keeled down beside me, grabbing my wrist gently. I barely felt the needle pierce my skin, I felt numb I was so scared. She stood back up and put a drop of some grey liquid into my blood and shook it. The lady turned to Mr. Malcum and Mrs. Wallis.

“In a minute or so, the color will change. If the blood turns green, he’s mutant. If it turns blue, he’s human.” she shrugged.

My heart was pounding so hard I thought all of New York might hear it. It took a few minutes before the blood started to change it’s color. It turned a dark green. There was a moment before I did anything. But I’m not stupid, I’m not alive today because I’m a sitting duck. I ran past the officers and kids and threw open the front door and ran like I’ve never ran before. I could hear the officers saying things into their radio, hear Mr. Malcum and Mrs. Wallis call my name- but I didn’t stop. The gate was already open from the paramedics and officers coming through, and I ran through it. The orphanage was snack dab in the middle of the city, with stores, houses, and people walking around without a thought.

“Kid, stop! Now!” one of the officers yelled, and out of stupid, ridiculous instinct, I turned around.

Other people started to look over, wondering why they were yelling. And more importantly, why they were now drawing their guns.

“Stop kid, stop and get down on your knees now!” the officer in front said and I noticed that his badge said ‘Officer Smith’. The lady officer also had her weapon drawed and aimed it at my chest. Her badge read ‘Officer Reems’. The third officer didn’t have his weapon, but was saying something about backup into his radio and trying to keep the other kids back. His badge read ‘Officer Danes’.

“Don’t move and get down on your knees, hands behind your head!” Officer Smith yelled, aiming the gun at my chest. Slowly, I got down I got down on my knees and raised my hands in the air.

I noticed a boy, maybe seventeen, edge closer, looking concerned. He had short dirty blond hair with bright blue eyes that switched between the scene that had now become my personal horror scene, and another boy that couldn’t be older than twenty. The boy he was looking at had blond hair with a cruel smirk and hard yellow eyes.

Officer Smith came up from behind me and yanked my hands behind my back harshly. “You know what was so stupid ’bout what you just said?” I asked loudly, leaning my head down to face the grass.

“Entertain me kid,” Smith laughed, and I could feel him grabbing a pair of handcuffs from another officer. “What?”

“How can I not move, and put my hands behind my back, and get down on my knees at the same time?” the officer said nothing for a moment, and then laughed.

“What kind of stupid thing is that to say?”

He barked out laughing and hauled me to my feet, shaking his head. As he did, he opened up the handcuffs and I could feel cold metal clamp tightly around my right wrist. It felt like my body was forcing itself to stop. If I was going to do it, I needed do it now.

“Stupid-” he started, but before he could get another word out, I snapped my head up to meet his and head butted him as hard as I could.

“Yeah, I know. Mutt.”

As if it were even possible, my head felt like it was about to break open. I ran right into the crowd that had started to form that’d been watching. I felt something wet fall down my face, and when I tried to wipe it off, my hand came back red. Dang it. I ran into the street, hearing the cars screeching to a stop and horns blaring as I ran past them. As I ran, I fumbled for my father’s knife, thinking that maybe I could cut the cuff off my wrist. New sirens blared, but I knew that these weren’t paramedics, so I ran faster. I was right. The knife cut clean through the cuff, and I hastily threw it off my wrist. People dodged me, not wanting to get in my way. Or, that’s why I thought they were moving aside. As I found out after shoving a man aside, there were two police cars blocking me off from the front. The officers started to get out when they saw me. I turned to run into the traffic on the left, when a police van screeched to a stop right in the middle. They started to get out.

“Crap!” I whispered.

Out off the charger of my eye, I saw that same seventeen year old boy and the yellow eyed boy not far behind me, though they kept eyeing each other cautiously.

I sped up, wanting to run around the corner, and found four police officers aiming their guns at- guess who- me.

“Put the knife down kid, or this going to get a lot worse than it needs to be.” One warned and I let out a short bark of laughter. Worse? how was this supposed to get worse than it already was?

The other officers were getting closer. I backed up, and tried to turn around, maybe I could take a different route before they shot me. Before I could even completely turn around, I felt the butt of a gun hit me in the back of the head. I screamed and grabbed the back of my head with my free hand. Before I could swing my knife, it was knocked out of my hand and someone had me by my shirt up against a wall.

“You’re lucky I don’t fill you with lead, kid!” Officer Smith sneered at me. He had a fistful of my shirt in his hand and, I’m glad to see, a bloody nose that- hopefully- appeared broken.

I could barely see with the blood that was coming from my head, but I could still see the teenager, who was looking at me like he wanted to help but didn’t know how. A lot of the pedestrians were staring now, and most looked slightly disturbed- like they also wanted to help. Some of the onlookers started pulling out their phones to video it. Good, because they weren’t going to like what I was about to do.

“Go to Hell.” I growl so low that only Officer Smith could hear me.

“What did you say kid?”

“I said GO TO HELL!” I raised my voice, and for the first time since my mother died, I let all of the anger I’d been feeling for the past two years rise to the surface.

I let it simmer for a moment, my hate for the Order, the sadness that I’ve felt since she died, the hole that was left when Leo was taken from me, my fury that nobody would do anything about it, my anger that I’ve had to hide what I was for two years. Well, there’s no hiding it anymore. And there’s absolutely no going back now.

And I’m damn done asking for permission.

I grabbed his wrists with both hands and let my anger curl into my hands, let it seep into his kin, into his bones. I felt the same odd pull in my stomach that I’d felt when I touched Deric, only now it was much stronger than before. I heard the officer scream, a loud tortured scream, before he dropped to the ground. He was in obvious agony, and I was surprised that I truly couldn’t bring myself to care. You could hear bones cracking inside his body, you could see his eyes rolling into the back of his head, see his body start to actually tear. But only I could feel what was else was happening. I could feel his heart stopping, could feel his organs start to malfunction. I could feel it all. Maybe that’s what smacked some common sense into me. The other officers around me raised their guns. I put my hands over my face and squeezed my eyes shut automatically, but no bullets came. There was no odd pull at my stomach, so I knew I hadn’t Blood Bended. I put my hands down and unclenched my eyes to see why I wasn’t umped full of metal. The short haired seventeen year old kid was standing in front of me, his palms out toward the officers. Keeping the officers back was ice. Sharp prices of ice that were the length of spears that was inches from killing them.

“And I thought I made the worst messes when I’m pissed.” the boy joked and looked me over carefully.

“Nope,” i mutter, dropping to my knees, scrambling to find my father’s knife with blood covering my vision. “That’s me. Hurricane Donny, twenty-four-seven.” i felt the boy pull me to my feet and press a familiar cold blade into my hand.

“Looking for that, kid?” he asks, letting go of me. I nod as I fumbled to put the knife back in the loop. I tried to wipe off the blood on my face best I could and kept rubbing it off until I could see again.

“Thank you.” I say earnestly.

“Don’t thank me yet, I have to get you out of here first. Now,” he says, no longer joking. “When I melt the ice, you have to run like you never have before, okay? I can hot wire a car to get us to where we need to go, but we have to dish them first.” he ordered. He took a stance like he was preparing to to run.

“Ready kid?” the boy asked. I nodded.

The ice melted almost immediately. The boy took ahold of my shoulder tightly and pushed me forward. We ran until we were both out of breath, we ran until we couldn’t run anymore and didn’t have a hope of a siren in earshot. He pushed me into an alleyway where the boy found an old looking stick drive car and dove a piece of rotten wood into the driver side window.

“Hurry, get in, before someone sees us.” he urged, opening the driver’s door and began to wipe off the glass from seat.

I didn’t hesitate. Right now, anything was better than turning around. After he took a moment, the car came to life.

“Thank you God.” the boy muttered and turned the car out of the ally and onto a regular road.

“What’s your name?” he asks after a minute or so.

“Donny Keeney. Yours?” I ask while trying to wipe away the new blood making its way down my face.

“Jacob Wills.” he says, and eyes me like he thought I was lying.

My vision was starting to sway and I thought I might puke. Jacob looked back and noticed my reaction. “Hey, you alright there Donny?” he asked, readjusting his mirror. Before I could answer though, my vision started to fog and I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer.

____________________________________________________________________

I woke up gasping for air and covered in sweat. My powers reacted to the memory, and I watched the ice crawl and form icicles on the ceiling. I haven’t dreamt of that day in a few months now, and I always tried not to think about it either. I remember everything about that day, but more than anything, I remember being terrified. Jacob brought me here and taught me how to use my powers, or more specifically, how to control them. Jacob is a Bender too and he, unlike any Bender that I’ve heard of, has unnatural control over his powers. He taught me how to control my emotions, to not let them affect my powers. But control is definitely not one of my better skills. Since that day, Jacob and I have been like brothers. When we went on missions, we protected each other, we’ve always had each other's back, no matter what. I grabbed my shirt off the floor and tugged it over my head and walked out the bedroom door. I didn’t want to wake Jacob up, I didn’t want him to be stuck staying up with me. The hospital wing in the basement had stuff to make you sleep, but they didn’t have anything that made you have a dreamless sleep. So, until they come up with those, I’m going to have to stay up a bit. I jogged down the stairs and out of the building. I was tempted to go to the Commander’s Building and see if Kaylee had slept yet- she sleeps in there most days, with a hammock in a small room in the back of the building- but I didn’t want to risk waking her up if she wasn’t. I opened the door to the training building and did what I normally do, I Bended. Though I don’t like to Blood Bend, water Bending usually calmed me down. My mother died ten years ago, murdered by an assassin from the Order and, much to my dislike, he was a Bender. My mother had been amazing woman, she was beautiful with brown curly hair so dark that many thought it was black. I had her dark hair, but my mother claimed I got my eyes and personality from my father. He died long ago, just a month after my mother found out she was pregnant. My father had been a Keeper and died in battle. She’d never had any photos of him in the house or talked much about him. I’d always just assumed that she was always too upset to talk about him. The Bender who killed her didn’t wear a mask, and made no move to hide himself. Leo and I had been hiding in the basement when we realized what was happening. I tried not to think about what my life was like before I came here. There wasn't a point to dream about the impossible- that life was gone, there was no going back to it. I never tried to remember my mom or dad, and refused to even think about Leo. I would never be able to keep my sanity otherwise. I concentrated on my bending, hardening the water swirling between my fingers into a thick ice glove. Jacob taught me how to do a lot with my Water Bending, creating armor being one of them. I trained with my Water Bending until I was overly exhausted. Water Bending took a lot of concentration and it wears on you after a while. I had to sit down for a minute so I didn’t fall over from exhaust. I remember closing my eyes, but I don’t remember falling asleep.